Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feed me, Seymour!


Prompt #3: Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on.

I wrote a little while ago about how I wanted to pay attention to my Dexcom more, ignore alarms less, and not put off treatment of hypoglycemic events. And I've done that pretty well (despite my out of the blue ER visit). Fewer lows and hesitations to reach for juice/candy/nutella...

Finger-sticking while not my favorite thing in the world is something I manage at least four (if not more) times a day. Counting/SWAG-ing carbs has always been a strength of mine. Like a lot of other people out there, I despise changing my infusion set and my Dexcom sensor. Yet, I even do that with out a lot of struggle. And yesterday, I discussed my ability to tweak basals & boluses like a pro.

My biggest problem, and something I'm still trying to figure out, is eating. Not carb counting. Just the act of eating. Remembering to eat. Eating often. Since I've started eating healthier (read: less stuff from a box/bag), I find myself struggling to put meals together. I did pretty well for a few weeks, but I fell off the eating wagon during the madness of the end of the semester. I promise I don't have an eating disorder. I actually have a deep love of food and a healthy appreciation of how I look. Are there a few stubborn pouches I'd like to get rid of? Definitely. Am I going to do it by starving myself? Definitely not. 

I just get wrapped up my work and by the time my stomach is grumbling, I'm too lazy to find something healthy to nom nom nom on. And if it's not that healthy, I will usually eat it out of necessity but I'll be unhappy because I know I can do better. My blood sugar doesn't really complain since I've got my basal rates rocking steady, but my tummy grumbles like a hungry, over-sized Venus fly trap. I am more likely to grab a handful or almonds or some string cheese before chopping up some veggies and boiling up some brown rice. Snacks do not replace meals. My lack of willingness to take time out of my schedule for just cooking/eating is a problem. This is definitely something I can step up on. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


2012DBlogWeekBannerPrompt #2: Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it's easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren't “perfect”. But today it's time to give ourselves some much deserved credit. Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

After nearly 15 years, I have become an expert at just making tiny adjustments.

Every day is different in terms of how often I check, how much I eat, and how well I count carbs, but as a whole I've made great strides in just accepting the hand that I'm dealt daily. That's not say that I never complain. My twitter feed is littered with #bgnow-s, #cgmnow-s, and the all important RAWRRRR-s. But overall as a whole, I keep my cool with diabetes by just making little adjustments to my routine on my own.

From early in my diabetes career to now, things have been different. I can't say that I remember the times during my early diagnosis where I shot up for a perfectly measured meal and was not allowed to leave food on my plate. It happened. Often. But those memories have migrated into that fuzzy far-way drawer of my brain. Everything was precise and rigid. Like the definition of insanity, I did the exact same thing every day and expected the same results.

Now, I make little adjustments like a pro. Sometimes I visualize my diabetes (personified as a squeaky pancreas) as a little crank motor. Busy schedule? Crank the lever a little to the left for a half turn of more food. Bad day with tons of stress? Crank the lever wayyy to the right for three full turns more of insulin. I'm extremely comfortable adjusting and waiting. Adjusting and waiting. Adjusting...and waiting some more. Very rarely do I freak out about what's going on and need to start from scratch. Pull out all the parts and clean up the grease before putting it all back together. To be honest, I can't really remember the last time I hit reboot. Like everything else, I just go with the flow and enjoy the ride as best I can.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gotta Read Them ALL!

2012DBlogWeekBannerPrompt #1: It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends. With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections. Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love! Let’s all find a new friend today!

For diabetes based blogs and websites, I have a relatively short list that I follow on a regular basis. The rest of the random storytellers I find are the direct result of Twitter mentions with interesting hooks. I'm sure there are a handful or so that "everyone" reads because of their popularity, writing style, or particular topic (everyone has a theme whether they know it or not). Instead of scouring the internet or my friends' list for cool ones, I'm just going to highlight some blogs that are lingering in my RSS reading list that I haven't heard lots of people tweeting about. My really abbreviated and wayyy out of date side list has more. And because I'm lazy, bullet points and short descriptions follow (IN RANDOM ORDER)!

  • Nerdy April's Space Adventures
    There are many struggles for a brainy woman (read: aerospace engineer) to win her right to float above us in the next big frontier. Space is definitely not the last adventure that diabetes will tag along on. I'm rooting her on and reading along. She's also getting married soon (to an engineer!), which is always something fun to hear about!
  • The Sweet Life @ Blast Magazine
    So I had seen tweets by this chickabee wandering around before when I was still a lurker in the DOC. I knew then what I knew as soon as I met her. She rocks. The socks. OFF EVERYTHING. We have a lot of random stuff in common beyond our dysfunctional pancrei. We're both young, brilliant, enthusiastic, addicted to sitting in our cars rocking out to the radio, and to be brief: awesome. Also, she's a great writer and activist (especially for DHF). Read her. NOW!
  • Sugar Rollercoaster
    Unlike most blogs out there that have just one person or upwards of ten people writing the stories, this blog just has two girls. They both have very important stories to share about being young-adults living with diabetes. (Side note: I don't know when I'll stop thinking of myself as a young-adult). A lot of their stories are personal tales of the day to day mental challenges with D (and trust me, from personal experience, they are just as innumerable as everything else). Plus, they live across the pond which definitely gives me a new perspective.
  • Alternate Interior
    What can I say about Mr. Bosh other than he is a funny (and pun-ny) man from New Mexico. He's a little bit geek (see his d-app and profession). He's a little bit eccentric. He's totally fun. There are some people out there that just feel right when you talk to them. He falls into that category. He doesn't necessarily blog a lot but if you aren't following him on Twitter, you're seriously missing out on some awesome banter.
  • Living Vertical
    Steve and Stef Richert are inspiring people. A friend put us in touch. He's the first diabetic rock climber to come across my radar, and a part of me wishes I could be him when I "grow up." Steve is a great story teller and a great photographer too. He and his wife travelling across North America climbing every single day for a year. They have some great stories about strength, finesse, and fear: things that are ever present in both rock climbing and living daily with diabetes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bullet Points: Catching Up

So it's been a little more than a month since I've last posted and way too much stuff has happened. I promise to come back and write real posts about some of this stuff but for now, all you get is the abbreviated version:

  • I finished my first year of doctoral classes.
    • Many, many all nighters
    • May have given myself a stomach ulcer (not really)
  • I love seeing old friends.
    • Somethings never change
    • Especially in NYC
    • Time flies!
  • A neighbor backed into my rear passenger side door.
    • No human damage
    • Car still drives
    • Mostly other driver's fault (Insurance split it 80%-20%)
  • My doctors suspect I have developed Diabetes Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN).
    • Almost 15 years complication free
    • Intermittent numbness in my feet
    • Diverging opinions between two primary care physicians
    • Started taking a B-complex vitamin
    • Still investigating my next steps
  • I spent 12 hours in the ER.
    • Somehow double bolused too much insulin when out with friends
    • Extreme disorientation
    • Blood sugar of 28 mg/dl & unresponsive for 30 minutes while in the ER
    • My friends are awesome at taking care of me
I'm sure there's more stuff but those are the things that are glaring in my mind. Oh yea, in case you missed it, I was Fan of the Week over at the Blue Heel Society. Check them out, because they're awesome.